Nov 26, 2012

Distance today = 50.90 km; Total distance = 14,969.03 km; Location = Rufino (14 km west of) – 34 14.626′ S, 62 53.180′ W; Start time = 0836, Finish time = 1629


I used up a lot more energy today than I usually do running 50 km. Being the Monday of a long weekend, the traffic on the road was a lot heavier. This meant doing  a lot more running on the grassy shoulders. Lifting your feet out of ankle deep grass all day requires quite a bit more effort. So does turning around regularly to check the traffic coming from behind.

I generally run facing the traffic, but the lack of head-on traffic doesn’t mean I’m safe to run on the road. Because the highway I’m on has just one lane in each direction, and no passing lanes whatsoever, there is a constant stream of overtaking. If I’m not looking behind me, I run the very real risk of being hit from the rear at high speed. Consequently, I spend a lot of the time on the grass.

I have been on this highway since Mendoza, about 600 km ago. Through the states of Mendoza and San Luis, it was a four lane, divided highway, with a paved shoulder. However, through the state of Cordoba, the road has been just two lanes, as described above. I cross into a new state tomorrow, and I’m hoping the conditions improve.

On Friday night we met Mauro, his brother-in-law, and all their kids at dinner in Vicuna Mackenna. They were on their way to San Luis for the long weekend – a long trip from Buenos Aires. Today they passed us on their way home, stopping off to say hello. We’ve been invited to meet up again in Buenos Aires when I finish the South American leg. That will be a nice way to conclude this leg of the run.

I also passed some policemen doing highway patrol duty this morning. I’m sure they would have caught heaps of speeders on this Monday of a long weekend. They were very interested in my run, and we all paused to have photos taken together.

I have also discovered that Argentina has skunks. They smell the same as North American skunks, although they are a dark chocolate brown and white, rather than black and white.

So, all in all, a productive day, with the negative of heavy traffic being balanced by the positive of great weather. It has not been too hot at all, which is a pleasure after the US summer I had to endure.